Assessing the effect of poisoning programs on the density of non-target fauna: Design and interpretation

To establish whether poisoning programs affect non-target density, the null hypothesis that density does not decline on poisoned sites needs to be tested. However, where no statistically significant reduction in density is found, there is some probability that a biologically significant reduction has been overlooked. The probability that such an error has occurred (a Type 2 error) depends on the effect poisoning has on non-target density, the precision with which the reduction is assessed, and the number of poisoning operations sampled.